Ride sharing apps contribute $1.2-million to improve accessible transportation in Ottawa

The city collects seven cents from each ride taken using Uber or Lyft.

by Jenn Pritchard

The City of Ottawa is seeing a big boost to its accessible transit system, prompting some big decisions from its Community and Protective Service Committee. 

The Vehicle-for-Hire Acessibility Fund collects seven cents for every ride in an Uber or Lyft vehicle in Ottawa. Over the last year and a half, the city has accumulated $1.2-million in fees. 

On Thursday, the committee made the decision to use the money on making accessible transit more affordable, 

It’s also putting some cash towards creating an app that would allow Para Transpo users to track their ride. 

The rest of the money will go to providing more taxi coupons for Para Transpo users who need to get around when Para Transpo is not available. In addition, The city will reduce the taxi coupon cost by 25 per cent. 

Committee Vice Chair, Keith Egli, explained that right now, the seven cent fees are handed over during Uber and Lyft rides on a voluntary basis. 

“Staff estimates that the fund at the current level of seven cents per ride will generate about $720,000 a year,” he said. 

The city may consider looking into raising the per-ride fees in the future, but it would need to go through other levels of government to do so. 

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